- Dec 14, 2019
After a crisis put the Knights of Malta into the media spotlight with numerous articles speculating about a rift between conservative and progressive factions within the ancient order, the organization is seeking to update its rules while holding steadfast to its most important traditions.
After an internal crisis that led to the resignation of the order’s former grand master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, the head of the Knights of Malta’s Italian relief corps reminds people of one of the primary focuses of the centuries old order: helping migrants, the poor and the marginalized.
The Knights of Malta have elected Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre with the title of lieutenant of the grand master. He most recently has been the grand prior in charge of the order’s Rome chapter. The election was necessary after the former Grand Master of the order, Fra’ Matthew Festing was forced to resign after a dispute with Pope Francis over the attempted ouster of an official of the order.
Just a few days before the Knights of Malta convene to elect a new leader, the former head of the order has returned to Rome defying the Vatican’s wishes. The former Grand Master, Matthew Festing, did not say if he would vote for himself, though in a recent plot twist the order confirmed that the new leader would only be temporary.
In an email written by the leadership of the Knights of Malta the members were advised to consider electing a lieutenant who would temporarily take the reins of the order. The order’s relationship with the Vatican has been tough since Pope Francis requested that the grand chancellor resign his post.
In an interview with an Austrian newspaper, the acting head of the Order of Malta has described being present at the meeting where the Grand Chancellor was asked to resign — and that it was American Cardinal Raymond Burke, not the Grand Master, who made the request.